Stories of interest to Arkansas Baptists ...


Thailand coup sparks call for prayer

BANGKOK, Thailand (BP) – In a country that has already endured months of political unrest, International Mission Board (IMB) leaders are calling believers to fervent prayer for Thailand after the Royal Thai Army declared martial law last week and gained control of the government in a coup two days later.

"We pray for a resolution that is best for the Thai people," Peter Hillen,* an IMB worker in Thailand, said. "Pray for people to be patient as this resolves. Please pray for our personnel to take opportunities to share about where their eternal security comes from; we can't trust in man for our security."

Following the May 22 coup, IMB leadership continues to monitor the situation and has advised personnel to exercise caution and avoid areas where protests have been held.

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Thousands respond during Master’Singers tour

Thousands of Ukrainians attended Master’Singers concerts during their recent visit to the country.Jessica Vanderpool
Arkansas Baptist News

MORE THAN 4,400 people made decisions to “become serious followers of Christ” during the Arkansas Master’Singers choir tour in western Ukraine, which took place April 21-May 2.

“I’ve been in ministry since I was 18 years old, and this is by far the most powerful thing I’ve ever gotten to be a part of,” said Larry Grayson, Arkansas Baptist State Convention evangelism and church health team member. 

Grayson, who serves as Master’Singers director, noted that “the intensity, the excitement, the feelings … cannot be recreated with words.”

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President declares disaster for Arkansas  

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Arkansas and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding on April 27, 2014. 

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Faulkner County.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency work for damage from the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding in Faulkner County.  

Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Timothy J. Scranton has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.  Scranton said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. 

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov.  Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

– This is a news release from the FEMA News Desk



Patterson trains, shares burdens of women in Ukraine

Patterson (left wearing red hat) speaking to a group of Ukrainian women.

Keith Collier
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary 

FORT WORTH, Texas – During a recent visit to Ukraine, March 10-12, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary First Lady Dorothy Patterson provided biblical training for women from across the country and empathized with the struggles of these women at such a critical time in their nation’s history.

Ukranian Baptist Theological Seminary in Lviv, Ukraine, invited Patterson to speak to women about themes of biblical womanhood. Seminary president and Southwestern Seminary graduate Yarslov Pyzh has led the seminary to start a women’s studies track.

“We’re working on helping them develop a certificate of study that will give them courses helpful in their woman-to-woman ministries,” Patterson said.

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Leaked docs, lawsuit fuel fire at La. College

PINEVILLE, La.  – A spate of leaked documents continues to fuel controversy at Louisiana College (LC), the Baptist Message reported March 13. Information from confidential meetings, letters from an attorney, a never-filed lawsuit and other documents have been made public over the past several weeks, the newspaper said.


The primary outlet of the leaked information has been from Baptist pastor and Williams Baptist College graduate, J.D. Hall of Montana. Hall is an outspoken critic of the LC Board of Trustees, its president Joe Aguillard and Louisiana Baptist Convention (LBC) Executive Director David Hankins, the Baptist Message said. In a related matter, Timothy Johnson, former executive vice president at the college, filed a lawsuit against the LBC-affiliated school March 11 claiming wrongful termination after he filed a whistleblower report alleging misconduct by the school’s president, the Associated Baptist Press reported.

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